Travel Latvia. Riga Guide for First Time Visitors

Together with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden, Latvia sits along the Baltic Sea. And as Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia is a Baltic State. Over the last 800 years and ever since a German Bishop built a fortress in today's Riga in 1201, German knights, Swedish nobles, and Soviet rulers, have all been in Latvia’s capital. In 1300 Riga joined the Hanseatic League, and some of the architecture in town still resembles that of the time. The UNESCO world heritage site sits directly in the middle between eastern and northern Europe.

If you are a fan of history and art, as well as of modern architecture and design, this is the town for you. Riga is small enough, so that you can walk easily everywhere, and if you aren't up for that, there is a net of public transport. One moment you walk through medieval lanes and the next you stand in a futuristic edifice. Take the time to discover Vecrīga, the historical centre of Riga and Pārdaugava, the left bank of Riga.

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Travel Cuba. Where to eat vegetarian in style in Havana

Food means far more than just eating, especially when you are on vacation. It is also a way to learn about the place you are visiting, and a way to meet locals and see how they live and enjoy life.

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, and the capital city is Havana. Please read Travel Cuba. Havana Guide for First Time Visitors to get more of an insight.

The privately run restaurant scene in Havana is a vibrant one. Shelves in shops I came across in towns like Havana, Trinidad and Viñales are often bare of everyday products. Tropical fruit and vegetables, like aubergine, carrots, coconut, papaya, capsicum, watermelon, pumpkin, plantain, pineapple, sweet potatoes, avocado, mango, and manioc are readily available. Good news for vegetarians. When at a restaurant in Cuba, I found that occasionally dishes offered on the menu weren’t available, this is due to a general shortage of food. You never know what will be offered, the Cubans just prepare whatever products they have on the day. Black beans and rice and fried plantains are seemingly everywhere, ask whoever visited Cuba, they tell you these are the main dishes in this country. Meals are flavoured with lime or lemon juice, cumin or garlic. Dessert options are fresh fruit, flan or ice cream. When at a restaurant in Cuba, order bottled water (one is advised to not drink tap water).

Before I went to Cuba, everyone told me the food is so bad, and some even recommended I should take muesli bars to get through the day and to best also carry a bottle of tomato sauce to make dishes at restaurants edible. I took the muesli bars and even a bottle of tomato sauce with me and can happily report I didn’t need any of these. Things in Cuba's restaurant scene obviously must have changed at a rapid speed over the last few years. What you won’t find in Havana are cafés on every street corner, as you would find them in many other places around the world. There aren’t many opportunities for snacking during the day, as in, have a sandwich here, go for coffee and cake there and buy a bite to eat at a food truck in between. Follow me, I show where to eat vegetarian in style in Havana.

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Travel Cuba. Havana Guide for First Time Visitors

We all know that fantastic travel experiences are not about how far we travel, it is all about what we discover and learn along the way. I had huge adventures in my own neighbourhood, this time I decided to search for them in Cuba. Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, where you can travel 1,200 kilometres from west to east. Almost two million of the about 12 million live in the capital Havana.

Old Havana was declared World Heritage site in the 1980s. If you walk around town you will see Soviet Ladas next to 1950 classic US cars inclusive the heavy exhaust fumes that come with them; smiling kids playing ball in the street, stately palaces in ruins, mountains of rubbish piling up on the streets, dirty looking water leaks, unidentifiable smells, passionate musicians, dancers and live music in literally every café and restaurant, old and young neighbours chatting, cute and lazy cats, friendly and tired looking dogs, beautiful restored stately palaces and plazas. It is a wild and interesting mix. Just by walking around aimlessly you discover breathtakingly beautiful scenes and architecture. The beauty of Havana is that nothing is set in stone. Every day brings new exciting discoveries. Are you a seeker of everyday magic too?

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